Iliotbial band syndrome or ITB Syndrome or ITBFS is the most common injury that athletes, runners, cyclers, weight-lifters and hikers have to face during their career. Both beginner and experienced athletes can suffer from this problem. The syndrome is caused by overuse of the Iliotbial band. This ligament runs down the leg from hips to the shin and it can get damaged from too much movement of the knee.

How Does It Happen?

The IT band is attached to the outer side of the knee and helps stabilize the movement to the joint. When this ligament does not work properly, even smaller movements of the knee can get very painful; in fact the pain can be severe enough to sideline an athlete for weeks at a stretch.  This band is very crucial in stabilizing the knees while running as it has to move from behind the femur to the front of the femur during such activities. When continuous rubbing of the band and the lateral femoral epicondyle occurs, the Iliotbial band can get torn or inflamed.

The syndrome is often ignored by people as common knee pain. If not identified and treated early, this problem can magnify and create serious problem going forward. It is fairly easy to identify ITBS. If keeping the knee bent at 45 degrees causes pain to the outer area of the knee then it can be ITBS. An MRI can also help in the diagnosis. Following are a few ways ITB Syndrome can occur:

  • Too much running (common among athletes).
  • Wearing shoes that have worn out soles.
  • Running in the same direction for a long time.
  • Running on concrete.
  • Women suffer from ITBS often as their hip movements tend to make them step in an inward way.
  • Running on slippery surfaces.

Precautions And Treatments:

  • Changing the direction of running often.
  • Warming up by walking before running.
  • Running on flat surfaces.
  • Wearing new shoes with intact soles.
  • Not running too much at one go.
  • Meeting the doctor or physician regularly in order to make any changes to your running form if needed.

The best treatment for ITB syndrome is complete rest. You must not work your knee too much as it can increase the pain and worsen the condition. Most of the doctors are not informed about the ITB Syndrome. Some physicians prefer injections of cortisone or an IT band release surgery which are helpful but are not considered as the first or second line of defense. In fact most orthopedic specialists and sport medical doctors do not have much knowledge about the syndrome and problems like chronic ITBS tend to fall through the cracks. Apart from medicines, a person suffering from ITBS needs regular therapy in order to get back in shape.

These are the main reasons, symptoms and remedies for the ITB syndrome. It is a simple problem that has a simple solution so if there is a pain in the knee, do not waste time. Visit a doctor or chiropractor and get it treated immediately.